Chris Ferris, a junior golfer at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, is part of a Great Lakes Valley Conference public service announcement campaign aimed at raising mental health awareness. The initiative, titled “Someone to Listen,” stars a student-athlete from each GLVC member institution in powerful 30-second videos that were filmed over the course of the last few months.
Each video begins with the institution’s student-athlete talking about the pressure they face during competition. They also show an understanding that all students deal with similar stress each day. Regardless of each person’s situation, talking to someone can often provide the greatest relief, yet it’s not the easiest thing to do. Each GLVC student-athlete stresses that there is always someone to listen, and adds that it is comforting that their team extends beyond their respective site of competition.
“As a golfer, I put pressure on myself every shot I take,” Ferris, a secondary education major from St. Louis, says in the video. “It’s really no different than the pressure we all put on ourselves as students. Every class we take, every test we take. That pressure can really build. Sometimes, you just need someone to listen. It’s comforting to know that our UMSL team extends beyond the course.”
Ferris’ video ends with the contact information for UMSL Counseling Services.
“We have been extremely fortunate and proud to produce compelling public service announcements in recent years, but we believe ‘Someone to Listen’ is our best work yet,” said GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich. “Mental health awareness and the overall well-being of our student-athletes is our utmost responsibility, yet this initiative also affords us a platform to speak directly to more than 50,000 students and faculty on our campuses. If just one person having a bad day is impacted by one of these videos and motivated to seek out someone on campus to listen, then we have succeeded in our mission.”
At the annual GLVC Athletic Directors/Senior Woman Administrators Summit in late July, the conference office staff sought feedback from the group in attendance and relied on current GLVC intern Beth Bowers, who graduated from Bellarmine University in 2018 following a four-year career on the women’s basketball team, to provide insight into the mind of today’s student-athlete.
Upon receiving their scripts for review, one student-athlete sent the following in an email to the conference office:
“I am also very glad you guys are doing the piece on mental health. As a student-athlete, things really do get tough. This past year, I personally learned that it was okay to get help. It’s okay to not always be okay. I hope these videos will help others realize the same thing.”
The videos were produced by Greers N Motion and will be shown on both GLVC championship and regular-season coverage on the GLVC Sports Network.
To see all 15 student-athlete videos, click here to see the “Someone to Listen” YouTube playlist.
Short URL: https://blogs.umsl.edu/news/?p=75848